Selfless service to society is aim of caretaker of Baba Farid shrine
Inderjeet Singh Khalsa, 87, who was considered one of the best lawyers in criminal cases, turned a spiritual leader after he took over the charge of looking after the holy shrine of Baba Farid, a Sufi saint, in 1969.punjab Updated: Oct 06, 2014 21:00 IST
Inderjeet Singh Khalsa, 87, who was considered one of the best lawyers in criminal cases, turned a spiritual leader after he took over the charge of looking after the holy shrine of Baba Farid, a Sufi saint, in 1969.
The then one-room shrine now has a huge complex and Faridkot has come to be known as the city of Baba Farid the world over.
"Taking upon to serve, upgrade and preserve the sacred shrine in 1969 was all accidental when the shrine was occupied by a mahant, who was not very much bothered about its sacredness," said Khalsa.
The life of Inderjeet Singh, who was born on May 11, 1927, underwent a fundamental change after he took over as the caretaker of the Baba Farid shrine in 1969, as he was an atheist before this and then he became a baptised Sikh and firm believer in God.
Baba Farid public school, which was opened in 1993, and started from the primary level, was later upgraded to matric and now it is a senior secondary school, is spread over 10 acres of land and has a strength of about 4,000 students.
"We also provide scholarships to brilliant and deserving students. Last year, we provided scholarships worth `30 lakh," Khalsa said.
Besides the school, the Baba Farid society is also running a Baba Farid law college in Faridkot where 716 students are doing various law courses.
The two societies in the memory of Baba Farid are running the school and the law college besides looking after the Baba Farid shrine.
Inderjeet Singh started organising the annual Baba Farid festival about 43 years ago, which is now attended by lakhs of people. It has also been accorded a heritage festival status by the government and many events are held during the festival September 19 to 23.
Inderjeet Singh Khalsa said that Bhagat Puran Singh, the former chairman of Pingalwada society, Amritsar, is his role model.
"The aim of my life is selfless service to society and to run the school, college and the Baba Farid shrine properly," said Inderjeet Singh Khalsa.
Khalsa was also arrested in 1985 by the police for fighting cases of innocent youth free of cost during the militancy in Punjab. He spent about 21 months in jail.
"I want the people to be truthful. In fact, most of the people have double faces, they are wearing the masks of religion and politics at the same time," he said.
Inderjeet Singh belonged to a rich family of the farming community and was adopted by his uncle Uday Singh when he was 2-year-old because his uncle had only a daughter. As he was an advocate, he also opted the profession of his uncle.